Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Soshi Games has secured a further £315,000 of funding, taking the total investment in the business to £1.1 million since it was established in 2010. Midven, Finance Birmingham, Creative England and private investors have all participated in this latest funding round.
Soshi Games is the creator of Music Festivals Game, which enables players to build and manage their own music festival, and is the only game of its kind which integrates ‘real’ music. It has 230,000 monthly active users on Facebook and is gaining thousands of new installs every day. The game helps artists to get discovered and provides new revenue streams for music rights holders; providing artist management, labels, merchandisers and media partners with a vehicle to monetise their social media fan bases.
The latest round of investment is enabling development of mobile and tablet versions of four new music-themed games, one of which – a quiz based game, entitled ‘Clue The Music’ – is currently on test in New Zealand, before being rolled out across iOS platforms worldwide. Even in test form, five per cent of people playing Clue The Music are purchasing music from Apple’s iTunes store as a result of playing the game.
Soshi was recently featured in the ‘Develop 100’ list of the top 100 games studios in the UK.
Cliff Dennett, CEO of Soshi Games said: “We’re gamifying the music industry. There is such a close connection between games, hand-held devices and music consumption and we’ve brought together the best of these to create a new business model.
“Our games enable popular acts to engage with their fan bases and earn money at the same time, but our aim is actually to launch a brand new artist globally through one of our games.”
Players of Music Festivals Game play the game for over 30 minutes a day. The player profile is very diverse in age and 63 per cent are female and already very global.
Bands featured in Soshi’s games include Welsh heavy metal group ‘Bullet For My Valentine’, winner of ‘best live band’ in the Kerrang! Music Awards 2010, and Sheffield’s ‘Bring Me The Horizon’, ‘best British band’ winner at the same Kerrang! Awards in 2011. Soshi also has deals with Clash Music, Kerrang Radio and Field Candy Tents. Cliff Dennett adds: “Typically, these partners are interested in the deeper level of engagement and innovative brand positioning we can offer, as well as data about the music preferences of our players.”
Soshi Games comprises a team of 11, all dedicated to the development and promotion of game-based music services. The start-up company successfully graduated from Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) business incubation centre. The centre provides bespoke mentoring and business planning to achieve investor readiness, as well as free telephone usage, 2Gbit/s broadband and office space for six months; a package which has a monetary value of £10,000. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, e4f is unique to Birmingham and is specifically designed to harness and support the city’s burgeoning tech community.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “Soshi Games is developing games that incentivise popular music acts to promote them, not just for financial gain, but also as a way to actively engage with their fan bases. It’s breaking new ground and capturing the attention and imagination of the music industry in a highly innovative way.
For Soshi to have secured £1.1million of investment in only three years is a testament to the strength of their concept. It is also very rewarding that the company has rapidly grown from a start-up to a team of 11 people here at the Innovation Birmingham Campus.”
To be enrolled into Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future centre, entrepreneurs must apply online. For more information on how to apply, please visit www.e4f.co.uk